Ariel N. Lavinbuk

Partner
Photo of Ariel N. Lavinbuk
Fax: 202.775.4510

Education:

J.D., Yale Law School

Book Reviews Editor, Yale Law Journal

Potter Stewart Prize (moot court winner)

Edgar M. Cullen Prize

Judge John R. Brown Award

U.S. Foreign Language & Area Studies Scholarship (Arabic)

A.M., Stanford University

A.B., with honors and distinction, Stanford University

Phi Beta Kappa

Firestone Medal

President’s Award

Bar Admissions:

District of Columbia

New York

Ariel N. Lavinbuk is a trial and appellate litigator.  He has a broad commercial practice, with substantial experience in matters involving breach of contract, bankruptcy and fraudulent-transfer law, the fiduciary duties of officers and directors, intellectual property, and RICO.

Ariel has argued or briefed cases in federal and state trial courts nationwide, in bankruptcy courts, and in nearly every federal court of appeals. His Supreme Court experience includes merits-stage briefing in a dozen cases and petition-stage briefing in many more.  Ariel also has extensive expertise litigating international disputes in U.S. courts, frequently works with and coordinates foreign counsel prosecuting actions abroad, and has provided expert testimony on U.S. law in foreign judicial proceedings.

Ariel also counsels clients on matters related to government ethics, has recently held a Top Secret/SCI security clearance, and has represented foreign and U.S. elected officials, their staff, and lobbyists in civil and criminal actions and congressional investigations.

In addition to his litigation portfolio, Ariel regularly represents and advises clients in negotiations involving professional services, trade secrets, and confidential and proprietary information.

Ariel began his career at McKinsey & Co., where he advised technology and media companies on a wide variety of strategic and organizational issues. He also spent time on the management staff of Teach For America.

Ariel clerked for Judge Stephen F. Williams on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  He is widely published, with works appearing in the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, and Slate, among other publications.  He is also a fellow and founding board member of the Truman National Security Project, and is a frequent panelist at Georgetown Law School’s Supreme Court Institute.  In 2018 and 2019, Benchmark Litigation named Ariel to its 40 and Under Hot List.

Professional Activities, Publications, and Honors

  • Fellow and Founding Board Member, Truman National Security Project

  • Moot Court Panelist, Georgetown Supreme Court Institute

  • Moot Court Panelist, National Chamber Litigation Center

  • The Outsourcing of American Law, Slate (Aug. 15, 2006)

  • Rationalism and Revisionism in International Law, 119 Harv. L. Rev. 1404 (2006)

  • Hamdan: A Conspiracy Theory, Slate (Mar. 27, 2006)

  • Rethinking Early Judicial Involvement in Foreign Affairs, 114 Yale L.J. 855 (2005)

  • Defending the senior leadership of McKinsey & Co., Inc., from fraud allegations asserted by competitor Jay Alix in litigation brought in federal courts across the country.  In August 2019, we secured a dismissal with prejudice of a civil RICO suit concerning the company’s bankruptcy disclosures over a seventeen-year period, a victory we are currently defending on appeal.  Jay Alix v. McKinsey & Co., Inc., et al., 404 F. Supp. 3d 827 (S.D.N.Y. 2019).

  • Defending Sony Interactive Entertainment in an unjust enrichment lawsuit concerning the manufacture and sale of the PlayStation Vita gaming console in Russia.  The case was dismissed after successful motions practice, a result we are currently defending on appeal.  Pilkin v. Sony Interactive Entm’t, LLC, No. CV 17-2501 (RDM), 2019 WL 224145 (D.D.C. Jan. 16, 2019).

  • Representing the estate of a Holocaust survivor seeking compensation for artwork and securities stolen from his family by the Nazis in WWII.  Toren v. Federal Republic of Germany, No. 16-cv-01885 (D.D.C.); Federal Republic of Germany v. Philipp, No. 19-351 (S. Ct.) (amicus).

  • Represented the conflicts committee of the board of directors of TerraForm Global, Inc., in connection with its successful acquisition by Brookfield Asset Management, Inc., and in matters arising out of the bankruptcy of SunEdison, Inc.

  • Representing creditors asserting fraudulent conveyance claims arising out of the $8 billion leveraged buyout of the Tribune Company in litigation currently pending before the Second Circuit and Supreme Court.

  • Represented the board of directors of Las Vegas Sands Corp. in state and federal shareholder-derivative suits alleging violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in Macau, China.  After extensive motion to dismiss briefing, the lead state and federal derivative cases were dismissed in full.  See Kohanim v. Adelson, et al. (No. A-11-636656-B, Nev.); Moradi, et al. v. Adelson, et al. (No. 2:11-CV-490, D. Nev.).

  • Represented general obligations bondholders of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in litigation and other matters related to the island’s restructuring.

  • Represented first-lien bank lenders (as conflicts counsel) and their agent, Credit Suisse (as lead litigation counsel), in various litigation matters related to and arising in the bankruptcy of Caesars Entertainment Operating Company, Inc.

  • Represented bondholder group as appellate counsel in a dispute regarding the allocation of more than $7 billion in corporate assets as between debtors in over twenty jurisdictions worldwide arising out of the bankruptcy of Nortel Networks Inc.

  • Represented Costco Wholesale Corp. as a party and as amicus curiae in a trio of Supreme Court cases addressing whether the Copyright Act’s and Patent Act’s first-sale doctrines apply to products made abroad by U.S. copyright or patent holders.  In June 2013 and May 2017, both times over the objection of the Solicitor General, the Court accepted Costco’s argument that the doctrines do apply, and that copyrighted and patented goods originally made abroad lawfully can be imported and sold in the United States.  See Impression Prod., Inc. v. Lexmark Int’l, Inc., 137 S. Ct. 1523 (2017); Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 133 S. Ct. 1351 (2013); Costco Wholesale Corp. v. Omega, 131 S. Ct. 565 (2010).

  • Represented hedge funds attempting to secure relief for Argentina’s default on debt issued in the 1990s.  In April 2016, Argentina agreed to pay our clients approximately $4 billion to settle the claims at issue.  See, e.g.NML Capital, Ltd., et al. v. Republic of Argentina, 727 F.3d 230 (2d Cir. 2013), cert. denied, 134 S. Ct. 2819 (2014).

  • Represented defendant Northrop Grumman in suits alleging copyright infringement and breach of software license.  The matters settled after defendants secured a mistrial in one action.  See Pegasus Imaging Corp. v. Northrop Grumman Corp., et al. (No. 8:07-CV-01937, M.D. Fla.) and Pegasus Imaging Corp. v. Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., (No. 8:2010-CV-01617, D. Mass.).

  • Represented Psychiatric Solutions Inc., a subsidiary of Universal Health Services, in a securities class action.  On the eve of trial, the case settled on terms favorable to our client.

  • Represented individual creditors, their trustees, ad hoc groups, and creditors’ committees in disputes arising out of myriad other major restructurings and bankruptcies worldwide, including those of Oi SA (Brazil); OAS S.A. (Brazil); Energy Future Holdings Co.; Education Management Corp; Arch Coal; Petrobras (Brazil); Patriot Coal Co.; DTek Finance (Ukraine); Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; Tousa, Inc.; and Residential Capital, LLC.

  • Represented Freedom House, an international democracy-promotion organization, in connection with the criminal prosecution of seven employees, in Egypt, for distributing foreign aid and assistance to Egyptian political and civil society groups.

  • Represented two senior White House officials in leak investigations. Both officials were cleared of any wrongdoing without their involvement becoming public.

  • Represented a sitting Member of Congress, during a high-profile Senate campaign, in connection with an investigation by the U.S. House of Representatives Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE).  The investigation was ultimately dropped without becoming public.

  • Represented two lobbyists for a major financial-services firm in connection with a criminal investigation of lobbying disclosure irregularities.  The investigation was ultimately dropped without charges and without becoming public.

About

Ariel N. Lavinbuk is a trial and appellate litigator.  He has a broad commercial practice, with substantial experience in matters involving breach of contract, bankruptcy and fraudulent-transfer law, the fiduciary duties of officers and directors, intellectual property, and RICO.

Ariel has argued or briefed cases in federal and state trial courts nationwide, in bankruptcy courts, and in nearly every federal court of appeals. His Supreme Court experience includes merits-stage briefing in a dozen cases and petition-stage briefing in many more.  Ariel also has extensive expertise litigating international disputes in U.S. courts, frequently works with and coordinates foreign counsel prosecuting actions abroad, and has provided expert testimony on U.S. law in foreign judicial proceedings.

Ariel also counsels clients on matters related to government ethics, has recently held a Top Secret/SCI security clearance, and has represented foreign and U.S. elected officials, their staff, and lobbyists in civil and criminal actions and congressional investigations.

In addition to his litigation portfolio, Ariel regularly represents and advises clients in negotiations involving professional services, trade secrets, and confidential and proprietary information.

Ariel began his career at McKinsey & Co., where he advised technology and media companies on a wide variety of strategic and organizational issues. He also spent time on the management staff of Teach For America.

Ariel clerked for Judge Stephen F. Williams on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  He is widely published, with works appearing in the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, and Slate, among other publications.  He is also a fellow and founding board member of the Truman National Security Project, and is a frequent panelist at Georgetown Law School’s Supreme Court Institute.  In 2018 and 2019, Benchmark Litigation named Ariel to its 40 and Under Hot List.

Professional Activities, Publications, and Honors

  • Fellow and Founding Board Member, Truman National Security Project

  • Moot Court Panelist, Georgetown Supreme Court Institute

  • Moot Court Panelist, National Chamber Litigation Center

  • The Outsourcing of American Law, Slate (Aug. 15, 2006)

  • Rationalism and Revisionism in International Law, 119 Harv. L. Rev. 1404 (2006)

  • Hamdan: A Conspiracy Theory, Slate (Mar. 27, 2006)

  • Rethinking Early Judicial Involvement in Foreign Affairs, 114 Yale L.J. 855 (2005)

Representative Matters
  • Defending the senior leadership of McKinsey & Co., Inc., from fraud allegations asserted by competitor Jay Alix in litigation brought in federal courts across the country.  In August 2019, we secured a dismissal with prejudice of a civil RICO suit concerning the company’s bankruptcy disclosures over a seventeen-year period, a victory we are currently defending on appeal.  Jay Alix v. McKinsey & Co., Inc., et al., 404 F. Supp. 3d 827 (S.D.N.Y. 2019).

  • Defending Sony Interactive Entertainment in an unjust enrichment lawsuit concerning the manufacture and sale of the PlayStation Vita gaming console in Russia.  The case was dismissed after successful motions practice, a result we are currently defending on appeal.  Pilkin v. Sony Interactive Entm’t, LLC, No. CV 17-2501 (RDM), 2019 WL 224145 (D.D.C. Jan. 16, 2019).

  • Representing the estate of a Holocaust survivor seeking compensation for artwork and securities stolen from his family by the Nazis in WWII.  Toren v. Federal Republic of Germany, No. 16-cv-01885 (D.D.C.); Federal Republic of Germany v. Philipp, No. 19-351 (S. Ct.) (amicus).

  • Represented the conflicts committee of the board of directors of TerraForm Global, Inc., in connection with its successful acquisition by Brookfield Asset Management, Inc., and in matters arising out of the bankruptcy of SunEdison, Inc.

  • Representing creditors asserting fraudulent conveyance claims arising out of the $8 billion leveraged buyout of the Tribune Company in litigation currently pending before the Second Circuit and Supreme Court.

  • Represented the board of directors of Las Vegas Sands Corp. in state and federal shareholder-derivative suits alleging violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in Macau, China.  After extensive motion to dismiss briefing, the lead state and federal derivative cases were dismissed in full.  See Kohanim v. Adelson, et al. (No. A-11-636656-B, Nev.); Moradi, et al. v. Adelson, et al. (No. 2:11-CV-490, D. Nev.).

  • Represented general obligations bondholders of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in litigation and other matters related to the island’s restructuring.

  • Represented first-lien bank lenders (as conflicts counsel) and their agent, Credit Suisse (as lead litigation counsel), in various litigation matters related to and arising in the bankruptcy of Caesars Entertainment Operating Company, Inc.

  • Represented bondholder group as appellate counsel in a dispute regarding the allocation of more than $7 billion in corporate assets as between debtors in over twenty jurisdictions worldwide arising out of the bankruptcy of Nortel Networks Inc.

  • Represented Costco Wholesale Corp. as a party and as amicus curiae in a trio of Supreme Court cases addressing whether the Copyright Act’s and Patent Act’s first-sale doctrines apply to products made abroad by U.S. copyright or patent holders.  In June 2013 and May 2017, both times over the objection of the Solicitor General, the Court accepted Costco’s argument that the doctrines do apply, and that copyrighted and patented goods originally made abroad lawfully can be imported and sold in the United States.  See Impression Prod., Inc. v. Lexmark Int’l, Inc., 137 S. Ct. 1523 (2017); Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 133 S. Ct. 1351 (2013); Costco Wholesale Corp. v. Omega, 131 S. Ct. 565 (2010).

  • Represented hedge funds attempting to secure relief for Argentina’s default on debt issued in the 1990s.  In April 2016, Argentina agreed to pay our clients approximately $4 billion to settle the claims at issue.  See, e.g.NML Capital, Ltd., et al. v. Republic of Argentina, 727 F.3d 230 (2d Cir. 2013), cert. denied, 134 S. Ct. 2819 (2014).

  • Represented defendant Northrop Grumman in suits alleging copyright infringement and breach of software license.  The matters settled after defendants secured a mistrial in one action.  See Pegasus Imaging Corp. v. Northrop Grumman Corp., et al. (No. 8:07-CV-01937, M.D. Fla.) and Pegasus Imaging Corp. v. Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., (No. 8:2010-CV-01617, D. Mass.).

  • Represented Psychiatric Solutions Inc., a subsidiary of Universal Health Services, in a securities class action.  On the eve of trial, the case settled on terms favorable to our client.

  • Represented individual creditors, their trustees, ad hoc groups, and creditors’ committees in disputes arising out of myriad other major restructurings and bankruptcies worldwide, including those of Oi SA (Brazil); OAS S.A. (Brazil); Energy Future Holdings Co.; Education Management Corp; Arch Coal; Petrobras (Brazil); Patriot Coal Co.; DTek Finance (Ukraine); Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; Tousa, Inc.; and Residential Capital, LLC.

  • Represented Freedom House, an international democracy-promotion organization, in connection with the criminal prosecution of seven employees, in Egypt, for distributing foreign aid and assistance to Egyptian political and civil society groups.

  • Represented two senior White House officials in leak investigations. Both officials were cleared of any wrongdoing without their involvement becoming public.

  • Represented a sitting Member of Congress, during a high-profile Senate campaign, in connection with an investigation by the U.S. House of Representatives Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE).  The investigation was ultimately dropped without becoming public.

  • Represented two lobbyists for a major financial-services firm in connection with a criminal investigation of lobbying disclosure irregularities.  The investigation was ultimately dropped without charges and without becoming public.